Placement FAQs for COVID-19
PLACEMENTS - HEALTH
The University is working closely with the relevant government department on health student placements.
Many placements are still subject to additional COVID safety measures, as host organisations need to confirm for La Trobe that they are complying with the government’s COVID-19 WorkSafe advice. The Partnership Operations Team will be in contact if your placement is affected as a result of COVID-19.
Please contact your Placement Officer or your subject coordinator if you have any specific questions.
What is the vaccination requirement for health placement?
The third dose (booster) vaccination remains mandatory for all healthcare workers, including students attending health placements. The University must verify your vaccination status before you are permitted to attend your placement. If you have not already done so, please provide the University with your updated COVID-19 vaccination digital certificate (how to guide) as soon as possible so we can confirm your placement.
Students are encouraged to monitor the government website to keep up to date with the vaccination requirements in health.
I am a volunteer in the medical industry – will La Trobe’s insurance cover me if I contract COVID-19?
No, volunteers must be insured under the insurance of the organisation they are volunteering for.
Teaching and other non-clinical placements
Students will be contacted directly with advice. Commencement and continuation of placement will depend on the particular circumstances of the placement and placement provider.
Students are encouraged to monitor the government website to keep up to date with the vaccination requirements.
If you have queries related to your Workbased Learning (WBL) placement, please contact your Placement Officer.
What is the vaccination requirement to undertake non-clinical placement (including ITE)?
Vaccination requirements for attending workplace/industry based activity will be that of the workplace/industry. Student who are not Fully Vaccinated will be able to undertake workplace/industry based activity if the workplace/industry does not have a vaccination requirement in place. If you are unsure of the specific vaccination requirements for your workplace or industry, please contact your Placement Officer or Subject Coordinator.
Do I need to undergo COVID-19 testing for my ITE placement?
Surveillance testing is in place for School settings, ITE placement students are required to undergo twice weekly Rapid Antigen testing. Please contact the Office of the Provost; Partnership Operations Team if you have any queries.
PLACEMENTS - GENERAL
How do I stay safe on my placement?
The health, safety and wellbeing of our students, including those completing approved course-related placements, is our highest priority. To stay safe on your placement, you must follow the protocols put in place by your placement organisation, which should be in line with the government’s COVID-19 WorkSafe advice as explained here. You should maintain a safe social distance (1.5 metres), sanitise your hands regularly, wear face mask as required, clean your work surfaces and monitor yourself for any symptoms. Do not attend placement if unwell. The University will assist you to replan a placement if it cannot be completed.
What happens if my placement is postponed or cancelled?
If your placement facility/educational setting/host organisation postpones or cancels your placement as a result of COVID-19 you will receive an email from the Partnership Operations team notifying you of this. Academic staff and the Partnership Operations team are working collaboratively on alternative placement options. Individual plans will be communicated to any affected students by your Placement Officer.
As restrictions continue to ease in line with the end of the state of emergency, placement cancellations resulting from COVID-19 are becoming much less common. Where your placement is cancelled, this will be handled on a case-by-case basic and a replacement will be arranged for you as soon as is practicable.
For Teacher Education placements, you are able to continue with your subject and your result may be entered as SAHA (Supplementary Additional Hurdle Assessment) on your transcript until the placement hurdle has been successfully completed.
For non-ITE placements, any subject requirements will be handled on an individual basis if you are unable to complete your placement requirements within the study for your subject. Your Placement Officer and/or Subject Coordinator will provide individual advice in these circumstances.
If I am required to complete my placement from home, are there any steps I need to follow?
Yes. You will be sent an OH&S guide/self-assessment and some tips for safely and successfully completing a placement off-site. You should review the checklist and use it to ensure you have a safe and productive home workspace. You should also ensure that you have regular contact with both your subject coordinator and your host supervisor.
I am in a high-risk category of contracting COVID-19 or I have carer responsibilities for others who are in a high-risk category and cannot attend placement. What should I do?
Please provide medical documentation to the Placement Operations team and they will discuss the most appropriate arrangements.
Can I opt out of placement?
Where you have significant concerns for your health and wellbeing, or the health and wellbeing of others living in your home, you can choose to opt-out of placement.
However, it’s important to note that completing your accredited program of study requires completion of all approved activities (including professional placement). Your course progression and completion date may be affected by your choice to opt-out at this time, so it is important to seek guidance from your year or course coordinator. We cannot guarantee when an alternative placement will be available, so if you are currently in your final year of study, opting out may delay your course completion so that you graduate and/or become registered for your profession later than you expected.
Opting out of placement will not result in a fail for the placement subject. The exact arrangements will depend on your specific course and registration requirements. Your subject and course coordinators are working through these issues and will communicate with you via the LMS and individually as required. The most likely scenario is that we will organise for you to receive a 'Grade Withheld' (W) result for the subject associated with your placement until the placement requirements have been completed. We will work with the placement provider to assist you to complete the required hours/assessments at a later date.
If you are considering opting out, you will need to:
- Discuss this with your placement supervisor and La Trobe subject coordinator, and also contact the Placement Operations team, if you are already on placement.
- Contact your La Trobe subject coordinator or year coordinator by email, if you are not yet on placement.
- Complete the online form and upload a copy of the email correspondence with your subject or year level coordinator as a supporting document.
- Where possible, please notify us of your decision to opt-out at least one week before a placement is due to commence.
What do I do if I test positive for COVID-19?
If you test positive for COVID-19 whilst on placement you must immediately notify your Placement Officer and placement supervisor. Requirements for pausing placement will vary depending on the industry you are placed in and individual organisational requirements. Students in health remain subject to furlough requirements and will be required to pause placement for 7 days following a positive result, unless individual organisational requirements indicate additional furlough time.